Arriving on the wrong side of Halloween, the Resident Evil Revelations Collection couples together two of the franchises recent episodic spin-offs into a package unseen on other platforms. Here Nintendo fans finally have full access to the Revelations saga, as the second title skipped the WiiU when launching in 2015. Both titles arrive packaged with all of their respective DLC and include the addition of amibo and Joy-Con motion control support.
Jumping right in, Resident Evil Revelations first launched as a 3DS exclusive in 2012 before making the rounds on just about every other platform in HD. The title is set between the events of Resident Evil 4 and 5 and follows the grizzly aftermath of T-Abyss virus, which was unleashed by a group of bioterrorists known as Veltro. Much of the adventure takes place aboard the Queen Zenobia, a dilapidated ship where one of your friends is suspected to be held captive. Venturing aboard the ship proves to be frightfully tense, especially when wading through waist-deep water filled with razor-toothed creatures or while you're frantically chased down many of its cramped corridors. With it being built for the 3DS, the title does feel awfully linear when compared to its sequel, but it still delivers plenty of tense moments within its claustrophobic setting.
Revelations 2, as we mentioned earlier, was released in 2015 and has a much broader scope due to the more advanced hardware it was developed for. The title sees you awaken in a prison cell of a rundown facility after a party hosted by biohazard prevention agency Terra Save is swarmed by masked assailants. Revelations 2 features the same episodic structure as the first title, but the main change here is an emphasis on teamwork. The entire adventure can be played in co-op with the player wielding a flashlight and a crowbar and the other handling the heavy artillery. Playing with a friend is great fun but in single-player it can be annoying to frequently switch between characters just to perform a certain action or a pick up the correct item. The atmosphere doesn't feel quite as chilling here in our opinion, but the added local coop and an improved raid mode make up for it.
Both of revelations 2's additional episodes, The Struggle and Little Miss, are included in the collection. The Struggle sees you play as co-lead Claire after the events of the first title and is a fully-fledged survival mode that requires you to hunt for rations to escape from permadeath. The entire episode can be completed in around half-an-hour, but it can be played with friends in split-screen to help enhance replayability. The second episode, Little Miss, sees you take command of Natalia and her sinister alter ego Dark Natalia as they set out in search of a missing teddy bear. The catch here is that you'll be forced back to the start if Natalia is seen by any mutated monsters. This is perhaps where local co-op is at its finest in Revelations 2, as one player will need to command Dark Natalia to scout out the path ahead (she can't be seen) and the other will control her pure self to unlock doors.
Raid mode delivers another feast of multiplayer goodness and acts as a standalone arcade mode, where you can earn collectables by completing points-based objectives. Arriving on the Switch, raid mode features all of the maps, playable characters, and customisable options featured within Revelation 2's season pass, meaning that it's stuffed with content from the very start. It's a mode that's great to jump into with friends on split-screen, as it throws you straight into the action and it's awfully easy to get to grips with. Amibo support is also included, which can be used to unlock BP and fast track your progression, helping you to unlock extra weapons and perks.
If you're looking to purchase the collection digitally (which is the only option in Europe), then you may want to consider purchasing a new Micro SD card. The first title is a hefty 13gb and the second double that at 26gb (if you've done the basic math then you'll realise that this combined is more than the Switch's 32gb base storage). This understandably is expected when porting big titles over to the Switch (both Doom and L.A. Noire have similar file sizes) but it's something to be made aware of, especially if you're coming to the end of your Switch's storage capacity. Also of note is that both titles can be purchased separately, which is great if you've played one previously.
Motion controls arrive as a new feature for the Switch but are purely optional. Gesturing the right Joy-Con down allows you to reload your weapon and moving to the left allows you to use your knife. These controls felt awfully fluid and we had no problems pulling them off during combat; we also appreciate how they are not forced onto the player. The title as makes use of the rumble function of the Switch, which is used to great effect when searching for exploitable points in unlocking chests. An annoyance we did have regarding the controls, however, is that the control scheme is different across both titles. General actions like shooting remain the same, but healing and picking up items are different, which caused a bit of confusion when playing through the two simultaneously.
Revelations 1 & 2 run at a locked 30 FPS and 1080P in docked mode, and 720P with the same locked framerate in handheld mode. Although the first Revelations was released three years prior and on the technically inferior 3DS, compared its sequel that launched on recent consoles, the jump between titles doesn't feel like too much of a jarring leap from a visual standpoint. What is problematic, however, is the lengthy loading screens within both titles, which can drag out for longer than 30 seconds and occur across all modes. The drawn-out loading screens are prevalent when the Switch is in both docked and handheld mode, which works to slow things down to a crawl.
The Revelations Collection may not represent the series at its most unstoppable, but it still delivers two solid adventures that have been made even better with regards to local play. Raid mode and Revelation 2's campaign and additional missions are a blast to play with a friend and both titles episodic structure lends themselves perfectly to handheld mode on the Switch. Storage is a concern and with the titles being on pretty much every other platform right now they may struggle to find a crowd, but as it stands, the collection is arguably the finest slice of survival horror available on Nintendo's fledgeling console.
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